Astonishingly fully featured and with an incredible camera –but the price is also out of this world.
Huawei’s smartphones have been steadily getting better and better over the past few years and the Mate 20 Pro represents the apex of that upward curve.
It’s probably the most advanced smartphone on the planet right now in terms of its overall package: it has the best overall camera setup, a super-fast smartphone processor, a big OLED display, great battery life and it’s packed with new and cutting-edge features missing from most of the other phones in this Labs.
Even the design and finish is futuristic and a step in front of most of the rest of the competition. Ignore the twilight, pink gold and plain black for now; instead, choose the green or blue because those phones are finished with the more attractive, fingerprint resistant “hyperoptic” pattern at the rear.
With it, phones have a pattern of diagonal lines etched into the glass, a bit like the grooves on a vinyl record, and it imparts a luxurious feel that’s unique among smartphones today.
That’s not the only attractive design touch, though. The finish is accompanied by curved edges at the front, framing a huge 6.39in AMOLED notched display, but despite its size, this isn’t a phone that feels unwieldy. And that display is great.
It reaches a maximum brightness of 465cd/m2, is capable of reproducing 100% of the sRGB colour space in its less vibrant “Normal” mode, and delivers the perfect, inky black typical of OLED panels. Sensibly, as with Samsung’s handsets, you can use the settings to reduce the resolution at which the UI renders graphics, from the native 1,440 x 3,120 right down to 720p.
At 15hrs 20mins, battery life is the second best we’ve seen recently from a big flagship. It’s second only to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. And overall performance from the new Kirin 980 chip is superb.
In benchmarks, it beats every Snapdragon 845 phone and it feels responsive. But it hasn’t yet been optimised for all the big games. At the time of writing, PUBG Mobile only runs at “Medium” frame rate, which is a rather sluggish 25fps.
It’s the Mate 20’s futuristic features and stunning camera that turn it into one of the best phones money can buy, however, and I’m going to have to run through the features quickly because there are so many.
First up, the Mate 20 Pro has an in-screen fingerprint reader, located beneath the screen, just below the centre. This works quickly, although it isn’t as reliable as a regular fingerprint reader.
Next, there’s a 3D-depth sensing front camera on the front, just like the iPhone Xs Max’s, which not only unlocks your phone, but can also 3D-scan objects and bring them to life in bizarre AR animations. It works well, albeit not as quickly as Apple’s.
Finally, the Mate 20 Pro’s camera is, along with the one in the iPhone Xs and Xs Max, the most accomplished in the business.
It’s a triple camera array, with a wide-angle (16mm equivalent) 20-megapixel, f/2.2 camera for landscapes and group photos; a 40-megapixel, f/1.8 primary camera with a huge 1/1.7in sensor that’s larger than anything else on the market; and an 8-megapixel, f/2.4 3x telephoto camera with OIS.
No other smartphone camera can match the Mate 20 Pro’s for sheer flexibility but, more than that, quality is exceptional in both low light and good light. We prefer the iPhone Xs Max and Samsung Galaxy S9 for video, though, because the stabilisation is superior and zooming in video (on the iPhone) is smoother. Huawei has a little to work on here.
Still, no other manufacturer can match the Mate 20 Pro’s charging abilities. Using the power adapter included in the box, the phone can charge at 40W and wirelessly at 15W.
You can even turn the Mate 20 Pro into a wireless charger if you want to give a friend’s phone a boost. Oh, we nearly forgot to mention the Mate 20 Pro’s PC-style desktop mode, which debuted on the Mate 10 Pro in 2017. This can now be used over a wireless Miracast connection.
All told, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the most advanced smartphone on the planet. It’s a fantastic phone to hold and use, takes wonderful photos and it’s quick. The only barrier to entry is the price, which is well into Samsung Galaxy Note 9 territory.
Read Another Review with Key Points and Details of Pros and Cons of Huawei Mate 20 Here: Link to Another Review